Wed, Oct 13, 2010
Will Be Replaced By An Airport Open House
Biggin Hill Airport has pulled the
plug on the Biggin Hill Air Fair after 47 years.
The event was billed as "one of the most famous events on the
global aviation calendar" on the Biggin Hill Airport website. The
annual event attracted an estimated 100,000 people in June, and was
the largest privately-run airshow in Europe. The 2010 show had
included a tribute to the 70th anniversary of the Battle of
But now, the airport has decided to sack the air show in favor
of a community open house, according to reports in the British
media including The Kent News. The airport is under new management,
and the company reportedly wants to stress ties to the business
aviation community rather than stage the larger event. The
scaled-down open house will be more of a trade fair, according to
the paper, much like those that were held in the 50's and early
60's, before the event became an air show.
The show that has become known over the past nearly five decades
was founded by Squadron Leader Jock Maitland in 1963, and his son,
Jim Maitland, reacted angrily to the events demise. He said the way
it was done was "inappropriate" given the legacy of the show.
But the airport's current managers say the open house and trade
fair will make a better connection between the airport and the
surrounding community. It will be held in September, rather than
June, and will still feature warbird displays and military
participation, though not nearly to the extent as in the past.
An airport spokesman told the paper that the show would be
"community based" in 2011 to "put it on the map", and then work on
developing the themes for the event. He said the "Air Days" at
Biggin Hill from 1952 until the air spectacular began in 1963 had
been "very successful, year after year."
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